Barn Find

Hi there, I work for a demolition company in Kitchener, ON in Canada. We have 2 printing presses we found from s job site. Not sure how they were acquired or what they are currently worth. I found the pamphlet online but not much else.

They are a John Thomson printing press from NYC.

Anyone have any idea what we have here?

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Photos will not load on this site for some reason. I will try again later.

The unit says its a Model C and has patents on it from 1904 to 1921

The other unit I could not locate a model number but it is larger than the Model C. Both are a John Thomson printing press.

Can you post a couple of pictures? Some people still use those Thomson presses, but unless the rollers assemblies are complete they are only useful for die cutting.


Be sure the photo name for attachment does not have any special characters in it — alphabetical and numbers are OK, but slashes and question marks and such are not. And keep the image small — you can reduce it in Paint, to about 100KB or less, and .jpg are best.


From what I recall John Thompson are parallel impression presses much like the Colt’s Armory presses. I think there is some relation in the history to Colt’s as well.

Very desirable presses.

Sorry I cant understand why it changed to be sideways.

I have the model # and plates.
These apparently were all in working order 2 years ago and have been stored indoors since. I will clean them this week and post photos as I pull it out of the ink tray.

Any idea what we have?

image: b.jpg


image: a.jpg


A looks like a regular Thompson platen; B is not and could be one of their special presses for embossing.

the top photo (double gear) is a die-cutter.has clutch albeit unsafe. The bottom an ex-printer with most of inking removed. Parallel impression most likely made for John Thompson in Hartford.CT. Much too dangerous to operate today. age: mid 1920-s to 1939

I have people interested in buying these but have NO idea what they are worth. Can anyone give me a reasonable ball park range so I dont sell it for the scrap metal price its worth.

If they’re not complete with inking system- Sell them for the scrap price to your buyer and be happy someone will remove them.
They’re worthwhile but not unless they’re complete- if they’re not complete and inking, it will take a good amount of work and investment to get them running.
I think I saw your post on Facebook just now.

I was told they were complete and working from my boss when removed. I will be at the shop this Monday and will update with photos as I clean it.

If it is complete and working, does anyone know what it would be worth.

I know the scrap metal price. I just have no idea at best case scenario what its worth.

The upper model is the Thomson “eccentric action embossing and stamping press” and looks like it is the 12x18 version. Originally a bar crossed between the two safety throw-off handles. It is different from their cutting & creasing models and is such more heavily built for a smaller sheet size. It is extremely rare.
I’ve seen many Thompson and Colts printing presses, and a few stripped for cutting. Never seen this embosser except in catalogs.

Are these worth $300 or are these units worth more? Does anyone know what they could fetch at auction?